Constructing the future

Last year Perth and Kinross council launched a new programme of upgrades and improvements to their schools in an effort to modernise them and create “high-quality learning and teaching environment for pupils and staff.”

As part of this project the schools are to be fitted with biomass boilers which providing all the establishments heating and hot water needs.

Last week the first of the upgraded schools, Crieff Primary, was officially opened by Councillor Ian Miller, leader of Perth & Kinross council by the unveiling of a plaque.

“The enhanced facilities for learning and teaching in the new Crieff Primary School will make a real difference to the school community, who I am sure will greatly benefit from the new and improved range of provision,” Mr Miller stated.

“The new primary school and nursery is complemented by a range of associated resources. In addition, biomass boilers are providing the heating and hot water therefore reducing the carbon footprint of the new school.”

In total £60 million has been set aside for this project and the school is the first building to be completed, coming in on time and under budget.

The project is being delivered in partnership with East Central Hub as a design and build contract. The design work was carried out by Holmes Miller Architects and BAM Construction undertook the building works.

The school which handles both primary and nursery aged children also now has a new gymnasium, sports pitches and playground.

Councillor Bob Band, convener of the council’s lifelong learning committee, who also attended the ceremony, said: “The new Crieff Primary School and nursery provides a high-quality teaching environment in which local children can advance their learning.

“This project forms part of Perth and Kinross Council’s capital programme of school upgrades and improvements aimed at enhancing learning and teaching environments across the area.

“I am pleased to say that this goal has certainly been achieved in Crieff by the provision of these excellent new facilities.”

In related news a former paper mill in Glenrothes is set to become Scotland largest and most energy efficient data centre.

Work has already begun at the Tullis Russell paper mill which closed last year with contractors demolishing parts of the site in preparation for the state of the art development.

During the full construction phase it is expected that more than 300 construction workers will be employed at the site which has been named Queensway Park and when completed up to 50 full time jobs will be available at the data centre campus.

Glenrothes and Central Fife MP Peter Grant said: “The closure of Tullis Russell was a huge blow for the local area.

“The Scottish Government investment through the Fife Task Force has helped to mitigate the effects of this and it is good news for Glenrothes that the site will once again be providing jobs for local workers.

“Fife has a strong reputation for renewable and sustainable energy including the offshore wind turbine in Methil and the biomass plant in Glenrothes, which will connect to the new Queensway Park campus.”

The development will be the first facility of its kind to use 100% renewable energy for all its power needs. It will do this by connecting to the UK’s largest biomass plant, the Markinch CHP Plant also in Glenrothes.

The campus will also contain numerous high speed digital connections extending to over 7,500km across the entire UK with additional international connection points.

The project is a joint venture between County Properties Group, an Edinburgh based developers and the AOC Group. Etix Everywhere, internationally reknowned data centre operatives are expected to run the facility as well as provide technical support.

Fife Council’s depute leader Lesley Laird: “We are delighted that Fife is set to be the home of Scotland’s largest and most energy efficient data centre campus.

“Fife is at the forefront of renewable energy and innovation, and this most recent development reinforces our position.

“This investment in the Glenrothes area is a positive boost for local jobs and good news for people across Fife.”

Queensway Park director Alan O’Connor added: “This is one of the largest and most challenging projects we have been involved in and is the culmination of four years carefully planning every aspect of design and resilience.”

The first phase of development will be ready for occupation in the summer of 2017 with the second and third phases coming online soon after.

Our energy future is not just dependent on clean reliable and renewable energy sources. How that energy is used is just as important. Projects like the Perth and Kinross schools modernisation and the Glenrothes data centre are leading the way in new energy efficient methods of construction and energy usage.

They may be initially expensive however these costs are countered by the savings made in their energy production and usage methods.

With the advent of electric cars and more electrical goods being used in both residential and industrial markets the demand for energy will continue to increase. In order to help cope with this demand all of our new builds, both residential and industrial should be fitted with renewable features and linked directly to renewable sources.

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